Former Border Patrol agent suffers cuts, bruises in prison beating, authorities say

Tuesday, February 6th 2007, 5:11 pm
By: News On 6

EL PASO, Texas (AP) _ A former Border Patrol agent who was convicted of shooting a drug smuggling suspect and then lying about it has been beaten by fellow inmates in prison.

Prison officials on Tuesday confirmed assertions by a congressman and relatives of Ignacio Ramos. He was attacked Saturday night after his case was described on the TV show ``America's Most Wanted,'' the officials said.

Ramos suffered minor cuts and bruises, U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Traci Billingsley said in a statement.

Ramos has been moved to the special housing unit at the medium- and low-security federal prison in Yazoo City, Miss., where he is serving time, Billingsley said.

The convictions of Ramos and fellow former agent Jose Alonso Compean sparked outcry from critics who argued that the men were merely doing their job defending the border against criminals.

U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., a vocal supporter of the agents and opponent of illegal immigration, criticized the Bush administration Tuesday for failing to protect Ramos and demanded a full presidential pardon for the two men.

``Not only did the administration choose the side of a foreign dope runner over the agents who stopped him from smuggling a load of drugs into the county _ now they've failed to protect that agent while his case is on appeal,'' he said in a statement.

The incident is being investigated, and the four inmates believed to have been involved have been separated from other inmates, Billingsley said.

Ramos and Compean, who reported to prison in January, were each sentenced to more than a decade behind bars. Compean is serving his sentence at the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution in Ohio; no problems have been reported with his detention.

The agents were convicted last year of shooting Osvaldo Aldrete Davila in 2005 near El Paso and then trying to cover up the incident. Davila was shot once in the buttocks.

Ramos' wife, Monica Ramos, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that her husband described being attacked late Saturday, when he ``let his guard down.'' She said the attackers kicked and stomped him for several minutes.

He was able to identify one man in the group, Monica Ramos said.